People, Travel

Mandatory Permits for Online Travel Agencies

Mandatory Permits for Online Travel AgenciesMandatory Permits for Online Travel Agencies

Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization has launched a plan to streamline and supervise the activities of online travel agencies by requiring all individuals and groups to obtain a permit to run their business online.

The cyberspace is rife with individuals or groups that offer substandard services to unsuspecting consumers. In order to combat any fraudulent activities, ICHHTO has drawn up guidelines that require all entities offering travel and tourism services online to apply for and acquire a permit from the organization.

The new guidelines, which aim to promote fair and responsible practices and help develop tourism marketing and promotion online, have been communicated to all provincial offices of ICHHTO, ISNA reported.

Applicants must visit and upload the documents, which will be reviewed by provincial chapters of ICHHTO. Once approved, the applicant’s case will be submitted to the Monitoring and Evaluation of Tourism Services Office at the ICHHTO headquarters for a final approval.  

Approved businesses will be able to use an “e-trust” icon issued by the Iranian E-Commerce Development Company on their website.

“Failure to obtain a permit and ignoring warnings from Iran’s Cyber Police (FATA) will result in an automatic ban on the websites,” said Morteza Rahmani Movahed, tourism deputy at the ICHHTO.

“All websites that are currently operating without a permit must apply for one within three months,” he said, adding that the measures are aimed at ordering the unregulated tourism service providing trend on the internet and have been taken in collaboration with the Iran Civil Aviation Organization, FATA and IeDCO.